I'll be teaching three weeks of summer school in July. Juniors. Not the kids who want to cram in a required course so they can open up their fall schedule for more electives, no, this will be the kids who failed the course and need a second chance before their senior year, hopefully so they can graduate on time. I'm excited and nervous in equal measure, waking up early with syllabus plans spinning in my head.
The course is mine to design, but for a multiple choice final exam that is heavy on comma mechanics and parsimony. We'll do a week on the theme of Identity with Alice Walker's The Color Purple, John Ford's Stagecoach, poetry of Langston Hughes and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The second week's theme will be Community through Lorraine Hainsbery's Raisin in the Sun and excerpts from David Lynch's The Straight Story and Sandra Cisnero's The House on Mango Street. The third week will explore our American Journeys through When the Emperor Was Divine and photography of Dorothea Lange.